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A year ago I was sitting at a friends house for a “Friendsgiving” celebration. At a certain point one friend said, I want to sing Christmas carols. She pulled out her phone and started belting out “Baby It’s Cold Outside." Me being the idiot I am joined to sing the male part. I use the word sing lightly, because as she was sounding like Mariah Carey, I sounded like a dog in heat. There’s a video of it somewhere that needs to be destroyed, but anyway.
After we powered through this rendition of this classic, I made a joke. I had never read the lyrics of the song before that moment. I had a thought. I jokingly said to my friend, you know this song is kind of rapey. The joke worked, I got a good laugh, a debate started and we all had a good time. Let me take this moment to apologize for using that word because it is not a word that should be joked about but it worked for the joke and the moment.
I never thought that my juvenile joke would actually come true in a way. Last week Cleveland radio station WDOK decided to ban the song. Since then other radio stations have followed suit. Um, what? Is this really where we are in this world? This has been my thought since I heard this news.
I was driving to work on Saturday, I put on Spotify and the first song that came on was “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dog. I said to myself, if “Baby it’s Cold Outside” has been banned what the hell would they do with this song? If you want to talk about suggestive lyrics, take a read of the prose that good ol Snoop put together on this or any of his songs.
If we are at a place in this world where a song written in 1944 can now be banned. Why stop there? I’m a child of the 90s. My favorite band is Pearl Jam. One of their biggest songs "Jeremy," written about a boy who committed suicide in front of a classroom. Are we going to ban that song now? I can site so many other songs that have stood the test of time, or influential musicians, like N.W.A., the Red Hot Chili Peppers, pretty much every band ever and pull suggestive or insensitive lyrics in most all of their songs and you know what that would leave us with, no music at all. I understand there is a different social climate today than in the past but we are getting to the point of ridiculousness.
I have three older sisters. Most of my best friends are women. I am one billion percent behind the hashtag me too movement. But we are losing sight of what the meaning of the movement is. What we as men need to do is be far more respectful towards women than we ever have. Women deserve to be treated as more than equal to men. These are the changes that need to be made. Guys need to stop looking at their Instagram and seeing a girl that looks good or may be in a thong bikini and taking that as an invitation to send them a picture of their junk. Guys need to never make a girl feel uncomfortable in any situation. That is what I took the hashtag me too movement to mean. Not, oh let’s get over sensitive about a song that’s nearly 70 years old.
There are a lot of amazingly social changes going on in the world. Women have become CEOs of companies, senators, entrepreneurs etc. This is amazing progress. Why do we need to focus energy on something so minimal like a holiday song? Let’s not forget, we are the same society that helped Kim Kardashian become a billionaire after having a sex tape released while she was on ecstasy. How was that ok?
I don’t know how this will be received, I don’t know where the world is going, but I’m not sure I want to find out. If you need me I’ll be living in a hole listening to “suggestive” holiday music.